News Release

PBBM: PH to file a protest vs China’s recent provocation in WPS, views the incident with great alarm

The Philippines will protest the recent provocations by China after the China Coast Guard (CCG) and Chinese Maritime Militia (CMM) vessels harassed, blocked, deployed water cannons, and executed dangerous maneuvers to illegally obstruct a routine Philippine resupply and rotation mission to BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday.

Answering questions from the media in Melbourne, Australia prior to departing to the Philippines, President Marcos , however, said he does not think China’s recent actions would be a reason to invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the US.

“However, we continue to view with great alarm this continuing dangerous maneuvers and dangerous actions that are being done against our seamen, our Coast Guard. And this time, they damaged cargo ship and caused some injury to some of our seamen and I think that we cannot view this any way but in the most serious way,” President Marcos said.

“Once again, we will make our objections known and hope that we can continue to communicate to find the way so that such actions are no longer seen in the West Philippine Sea,” he added.

Four Philippine personnel were injured following China’s harassment and dangerous actions against Philippine vessels delivering supplies to Filipino troops stationed at Ayungin Shoal.

Asked for his reaction to the reported sightings of Chinese research vessels in the Benham Rise, the President said it is a clear intrusion into the Philippine maritime territory and it is “of great concern.”

The presence of Chinese ships in the area is absolutely unnecessary because if it is truly a research vessel, both sides could have come to a simple agreement for those research vessel to ply Philippine waters and conduct such research.

“However, there is a suspicion that they are not only research vessel so, again, this is a bit of an escalation of the tension that is present in the West Philippines Sea,” he pointed out. PND